Elephant Parade: Artists, Celebrities, Royalty, Join To Save Elephants

by Mary Haight on September 28, 2011

elephant paradeElephant Parade 2011 sweeps across Europe raising funds to prevent Asian elephant extinction

Elephant Parade  2011 has been swaying, alternately strutting up and down the streets of  Milan, London, Copenhagen and Heerlen  trumpeting news of  royals, the famous, and the talented gathering steam across Europe all the way to South-East Asia to help save Asian elephants.  Not the expected elephant parade, hoards of admiring members of the public have watched with delight as famous artists painted baby elephant-sized sculptures in public for fundraising auctions in each host city! I spoke with Sona Mirzaei for Animal Cafe and got the inside story.

Prince Henrik of Denmark, Camilla Parker Bowles Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Michael of Kent and celebrity notables like 3-Star Chef Jonnie Boer keep the artists’ efforts in the news – Prince Henrik even had his own entry in Copenhagen.  The buzz will continue to the next and last stop on this 2011 train, Singapore, Malaysia.  And this last stop is where Sona Mirzaei, the lone American invited to be a participant, and her Danish colleague Per Hillo will display their Elephant Parade entry, “Triumph of Unity”.  On a congratulatory note,  the Elephant Parade Committee has honored them with a request to lead the parade in Singapore in January.

Sona shared her Elephant Parade collaborative art experience in Denmark.  Creating art is usually a solitary effort  experienced in a private studio, so it was very different to be working with another artist in a major department store in Copenhagen,  answering questions from shoppers! Both Sona and Per put together a statement about the meaning of their work:

Triumph of Unity

“We live in a world that continues to be plagued by intolerance, hatred, and violence so the importance of having society place an emphasis on love, peace, understanding, and empathy grows ever more consequential during these troubling times. Sadly, the strife stemming from various religious and political conflicts has contributed both directly and indirectly to the endangerment and potential extinction of many of our planet’s wildlife including all of the elephants in Asia. Due to the alarming statistics regarding the rapidly dwindling population of Asian elephants we members of the Elephant Family are doing all that we can to save, protect, and support these cherished beings. Furthermore, we feel that if the prominent political and religious powers of the world were to find a way to truly unite for the common good we could fix many of our planet’s numerous problems.

The elephant’s crown is intended to serve as a symbol for the unification of worldwide spirituality, love, devotion, and motivation—the glory of the Triumph of Unity. If the people of the world are capable of uniting for worthwhile causes, regardless of personal backgrounds or beliefs, then surely we will indeed one day be able to triumph over our many shared adversities. Love is the power that brought together this eclectic mix of international artists for the purpose of helping to save the endangered Asian elephants, and people’s hearts continue to be the driving force behind most charitable works, so let us all remember to keep love in our daily actions.”

If you would like to contribute in some way, go to either the link to the elephant parade above or to the Asian Elephant Foundation. You can keep up with Sona Mirzaei at her website, Sona Art, and listen to our chat right here!


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